Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Asian Games scholarships under clouds

NUSA DUA, INDONESIA - OCTOBER 18:  IOC Preside...Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Himalayan News Service
LALITPUR: Nepal Olympic Committee (NOC) Secretary General Jeevan Ram Shrestha today blamed National Sports Council (NSC) for its inability to help the players in their 16th Asian Games preparation.

“We had acquired scholarships from International Olympic Committee and Olympic Council of Asia for the players training. But we have not been able to utilise the amount because of NSC’s partial decision of suspending the NOC accounts,” said Shrestha at a press meet.

“With the suspension, we are not able to transfer the scholarship amounts and the players are the ones who will have to suffer from the NSC’s action,” Shrestha added.

Following the Supreme Court’s verdict of reinstating the previous committee led by Rukma Shumsher Rana, the NSC had on October 7 requested all the three banks — Standard Chartered, Global and Prime — to suspend the NOC accounts. The banks, according to Shrestha, acted promptly even without informing them.

According to the NOC, it had acquired the scholarship amount of $80,870 (Rs 5.7 million) for 10 different sports disciplines. Of the amount, $53,520 was from the IOC for Taekwondo, Weightlifting, Boxing, Archery, Athletics, Judo and Badminton, OCA had provided $27,350 for Cricket, Wushu and Karate. “If the scholarship amounts are not used before the Asiad, the international bodies will not give us the amount later. The money is gone if the bank accounts are not operational within a couple of days,” said Shrestha.

Shrestha, however, reiterated that the move would not affect Nepal’s participation in the regional meet slated for November 12-27. “We are not going to bargain with the NSC. I assure all the players and associations that the issue will not hamper Nepal’s participation in the Asiad,” said Shrestha, who warned the NSC of severe consequences after the event in a soft tone.

The two bodies have been at loggerheads fighting their supremacy for a long time now and they show harmonious relationship whenever they need each other.

In the latest development, the NSC had supported the first Sports Congress only after the NOC had agreed to nominate NSC Member Secretary Hari Babu Chaudhary as the chef-de-mission

of the Asian Games. The two sides had reached to an agreement, verbal though, of not crossing each other's line.

The war of supremacy has in the past taken its toll on the players and if such activities continue, it will be the players who have to suffer the most.

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